Anyway, here is the posting...pictures to come when I get back in the states!
On Sunday, we didn’t have any plans except for a paperwork meeting late in the afternoon. The Fullmer’s had done their research before coming to China and found the local branch of our church to attend. I had thought about looking up the church meeting time before leaving on our trip, but I never got around to it – I was lucky to get our bags packed before we left! But when the Fullmer’s told me they were going to church, I got so excited. Some of my most spiritual church experiences have been in foreign countries – Thailand, Hong Kong, Peru and how often do you have the chance to attend church in China?!
The only hitch was Joy was arriving around the time church was. Her plane landed at 11am, church was at noon and I hadn’t communicated anything other than I would wait for her at the hotel. So I was in a conundrum about what to do. If anyone would want me to go to church, it would be Joy.
So I copied the Fullmer’s map to the church, wrote a note to Joy, and actually left directions to the church to leave with the front desk so when she checked in, she would know where we were. We were I the lobby ready to go and the front desk wasn’t cooperating. They wouldn’t leave my note for Joy, there wasn’t really time for me to figure out another plan, run up to the room and leave a note for Joy and I just couldn’t pull it together. So at the last minute I told the Fullmer’s to go ahead without me and sadly, I waved good-bye. I was so disappointed.
Now I’m no scriptorian and my recall of the parable of the ten virgins is a bit fuzzy, but I do recall some of the virgins not being prepared at all, some trying to borrow oil for their lamps from others and some being completely prepared with their lamps full of oil. I definitely wasn’t in the latter category and actually fit in both of the other two categories – completely unprepared and trying to borrow from the Fullmer’s preparation and plans.
A little bit later though, Joy arrived! Boy, was it great to see her. It had only been a few days since Tony left, but it seemed like forever. I travel by myself all the time and am so used to being in foreign places by myself, but the day Tony left, I felt so very lonely. When he walked out the door, I started crying and all that day, I would tear up like a teenager who had just had her heart broken. So Joy’s arrival really did my heart good.
As you would guess, Joy was able to break through Anna’s shell pretty quickly. Bribing with treats certainly helped, but treats aside, soon Joy and Anna were pretty good buddies.